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Gallery: Paris-Roubaix reconnaissance

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Thor Hushovd (BMC)

Thor Hushovd (BMC)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda) pushes himself on the cobbles

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda) pushes himself on the cobbles
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The GreenEdge team

The GreenEdge team
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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George Hincapie (Team BMC)

George Hincapie (Team BMC)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Steve Chainel (FDJ)

Steve Chainel (FDJ)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Marcus Burghardt (BMC) will play a key role in BMC's chances

Marcus Burghardt (BMC) will play a key role in BMC's chances
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Single paceline for the BMC team

Single paceline for the BMC team
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda)

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Matthew Wilson (GreenEdge)

Matthew Wilson (GreenEdge)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Johan Vansummeren is the Paris-Roubaix defending champion

Johan Vansummeren is the Paris-Roubaix defending champion
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Will Taylor Phinney be smiling this much on Sunday?

Will Taylor Phinney be smiling this much on Sunday?
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sep Vanmarcke grits his teeth in the Arenberg

Sep Vanmarcke grits his teeth in the Arenberg
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Stuart O'Grady is the only Australian to ever win Paris-Roubaix

Stuart O'Grady is the only Australian to ever win Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Thor Hushovd and Alessandro Ballan will lead BMC

Thor Hushovd and Alessandro Ballan will lead BMC
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Taylor Phinney will be riding his first senior Paris-Roubaix

Taylor Phinney will be riding his first senior Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tomas Vaitkus (GreenEdge)

Tomas Vaitkus (GreenEdge)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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GreenEdge prepare for their first Paris-Roubaix

GreenEdge prepare for their first Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Matteo Tosatto (Saxo Bank)

Matteo Tosatto (Saxo Bank)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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An FDJ rider rides alone through the Arenberg Forest

An FDJ rider rides alone through the Arenberg Forest
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda) leads his team

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda) leads his team
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Former Paris-Roubaix Stuart O'Grady will be one of GreenEdge's captains on Sunday

Former Paris-Roubaix Stuart O'Grady will be one of GreenEdge's captains on Sunday
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Saxo Bank also checked out the final 100 kilometers of the course

Saxo Bank also checked out the final 100 kilometers of the course
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Manuel Quinziato leads George Hincapie (both BMC)

Manuel Quinziato leads George Hincapie (both BMC)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The BMC team wil lbe QuickStep's main challengers on Sunday

The BMC team wil lbe QuickStep's main challengers on Sunday
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Saxo Bank don't have a race favourite but they'll be hoping to make a strong impression on the race

Saxo Bank don't have a race favourite but they'll be hoping to make a strong impression on the race
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Quinziato and Hushovd

Quinziato and Hushovd
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Taylor Phinney (BMC) will ride his first Paris-Roubaix this weekend

Taylor Phinney (BMC) will ride his first Paris-Roubaix this weekend
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda) and Sep Vanmarcke

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda) and Sep Vanmarcke
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Stuart O'Grady set the pace for his GreenEdge team

Stuart O'Grady set the pace for his GreenEdge team
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda)

Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The Lotto team lack a clear favourite

The Lotto team lack a clear favourite
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The BMC riders look for the best line through the cobbles

The BMC riders look for the best line through the cobbles
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Ballan and Phinney

Ballan and Phinney
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda)

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The BMC team car follows the riders on their recon

The BMC team car follows the riders on their recon
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Taylor Phinney leads Alessandro Ballan through the Arenberg

Taylor Phinney leads Alessandro Ballan through the Arenberg
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The cobbles of the Arenberg

The cobbles of the Arenberg
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Some last minute road works

Some last minute road works
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Former World champion Thor Hushovd (BMC)

Former World champion Thor Hushovd (BMC)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Some last minute road works

Some last minute road works
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The moss between the cobbles causes so many crashes

The moss between the cobbles causes so many crashes
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alessandro Ballan (BMC)

Alessandro Ballan (BMC)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Defending Paris-Roubaix champion Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda)

Defending Paris-Roubaix champion Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin - Barracuda) leads his teammates

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin - Barracuda) leads his teammates
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda)

Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vansummeren leads Vanmarcke and Farrar

Vansummeren leads Vanmarcke and Farrar
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin - Barracuda)

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin - Barracuda)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sep Vanmarcke and Johan Vansummeren (Garmin - Barracuda)

Sep Vanmarcke and Johan Vansummeren (Garmin - Barracuda)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sep Vanmarcke before his Paris-Roubaix training ride

Sep Vanmarcke before his Paris-Roubaix training ride
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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BMC kick up dust on their training ride

BMC kick up dust on their training ride
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Even training rides are followed by fans and photographers in Belgium

Even training rides are followed by fans and photographers in Belgium
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The Lotto Belisol Team

The Lotto Belisol Team
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Team GreenEdge

Team GreenEdge
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Team GreenEdge

Team GreenEdge
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Team Saxo Bank

Team Saxo Bank
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Thor Hushovd thrives on Paris-Roubaix

Thor Hushovd thrives on Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda)

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tony Gallopin (RadioShack) could surprise on Sunday

Tony Gallopin (RadioShack) could surprise on Sunday
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sep Vanmarcke is a big star in Belgium now

Sep Vanmarcke is a big star in Belgium now
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Alessandro Ballan (BMC) is in great form

Alessandro Ballan (BMC) is in great form
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda)

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Experience pays and George Hincapie has it in abundance

Experience pays and George Hincapie has it in abundance
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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O'Grady shows his teammates the best line through the Arenberg Forest

O'Grady shows his teammates the best line through the Arenberg Forest
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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GreenEdge training on the cobbles

GreenEdge training on the cobbles
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda)

Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

With just a few days until arguably the biggest one day Classic on the calendar, the roads around Roubaix are become awash with professional riders and team cars.

Expectations for Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix are reaching almost boiling point with a number of Classic contenders ready to do battle on the fabled pave.

In Kortrijk, Belgium, this morning, Tom Boonen will limber up with a final training ride on some of the race’s key sections, including the legendary Arenberg Forest. The Omega-Pharma QuickStep leader has been in scintillating form all spring and his confidence will be sky high after his win in Flanders last weekend.

With no Fabian Cancellara on the start list it’s up to a number of other individuals to bring the fight to Boonen and his all-conquering team. At a press conference on the other side of Kortrijk yesterday, Alessandro Ballan and Thor Hushovd talked up their own chances of victory. The Italian has the better form but Hushovd has shone in Roubaix more often than not and is one of the true rivals Boonen should fear in a velodrome sprint.

BMC were one of the first teams to ride recon yesterday but they certainly weren’t alone. Garmin-Barracuda and their Belgian duo of Sep Vanmarcke and defending champion Johan Vansummeren were among those testing out equipment and the parcours. GreenEdge, Saxo Bank and FDJ-BigMat were also present, while the likes of Sky, Rabobank, Farnese Vini-Selle Italia and Boonen’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep will train today.